Stardust Bay, Sedanka Island

Stardust Bay is on the Pacific Coast of Sedanka Island and is named for a fishing vessel wrecked on the steep, high‐energy beach, at the head of a funnel‐shaped embayment exposed toward the Aleutian Trench. Sedanka is an uninhabited island in the Fox Islands group of the eastern Aleutians. This bay is the site of an ongoing study by the U.S. Geological Survey of very large tsunamis. Core samples and shallow pits have revealed a series of sand deposits from historical tsunamis that reach 800 m inland. Drift logs ringing the lowland floodplain approximate the landward limit of the most recent tsunami. The highest log found (a 10 m long by 0.25 m diameter pole) was nearly a kilometer inland bridging a narrow gully at an elevation of 18.5 m. The drift logs came from Stardust Bay's shoreline because driftwood litters the beach and, like other Aleutian islands, no trees grow on Sedanka Island. The evidence suggests that intervals between historical tsunamis were as short as 170 years and as long as 570 years. On average, tsunamis of the past 1700 years inundated Stardust Bay every 300–340 years. Learn more about the study here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Stardust Bay and Sedanka Island.